Monday, October 05, 2015

Look both ways before crossing the street

Did you know that in China if a car hits a pedestrian, it is common for the driver to roll back and forth over the pedestrian a few times in order to make sure the victim is dead? That is what Fordham law professor claims in this article in Salon.

Mob in India kills man accused of slaughtering and eating a cow

David Barstow and Suhasini Raj write about a Hindu mob in India storming this woman's house, beating her and her son, and killing her husband..

Why? Because
BISADA, India — The vigilantes from Save the Cow sprang into action the moment they heard a rumor that a cow’s slaughtered remains had been found near an electrical transformer looming over the heart of this village. They quickly raised the alarm through text messages and phone calls. A local Hindu priest was asked to alert villagers from his temple loudspeaker.

Soon, about 1,000 men had gathered by the transformer. There was no sign that a cow, a holy symbol for Hindus, had been slaughtered. Nonetheless, the men proceeded through zigzagging alleys to the home of the suspected cow killer, Mohammed Ikhlaq, one of the few Muslims living in this village about 30 miles east of New Delhi.

Mr. Ikhlaq and his wife, Ikraman, were on their second-floor patio, dozing after dinner and prayers. Suddenly their home was swarming with men. Mrs. Ikhlaq heard someone shout, “Kill them.” She, her husband and their son Danish, 20, retreated inside, behind a thick wooden door. The mob shattered the door.

...“What’s the matter?” Mrs. Ikhlaq cried out. An incredulous voice replied from the dark, “After slaughtering a cow, you are asking us what’s the matter?”

Men began to paw at Mrs. Ikhlaq, so she bit hard into a sweaty hand, broke free and fled downstairs, “too scared to even breathe,” she said in an interview. Upstairs, the mob bludgeoned her husband with her sewing machine and smashed her son’s head with a brick. Then they dragged Mr. Ikhlaq down 14 cement steps and out to the main road by the transformer, where he was left for all to see.

Mr. Ikhlaq was declared dead early Tuesday morning, hours after the attack; his son remains in critical condition. But in interviews last week, more than a half-dozen members of Save the Cow expressed little remorse for what happened at the Ikhlaqs’ home. Instead, they blamed Mr. Ikhlaq for inciting the mob’s fury by slaughtering and eating a cow — an allegation dismissed by the Ikhlaq family and the police, who have filed murder charges against 10 men.
Read more here.

Oregon Shooter Chris Harper-Mercer – A Social Media Profile Shaped, Modified and Deleted…

Sundance at the writes about the "beyond sketchy"
Curious Case of Oregon Shooter Chris Harper-Mercer – A Social Media Profile Shaped, Modified and Deleted…

...The Oregon Shooter is a 26-year-old black male.

...Mercer held sympathetic words and thoughts for the Virginia shooter Vester Flanagan, and similarly raged against white people, and expressed sympathy toward the Black Lives Matter movement.

...However, today almost all of that social media history is GONE -> Example Here. It is either removed entirely, and/or edited for content. How it could be edited is a mystery unless there is some other issue at hand.

In addition, as several researchers have noted, anyone who held attachment to Mercer appears to be deleting the content of their association. Including Umpqua Community College itself.

... The immediate on-line web history of Chris Harper-Mercer showed him to be a mixed-race, angry young man in general alignment with various radical racially aligned groups such as Black Lives Matter, Fuck The Police and Fuck Yo Flag – all of which carry a sentiment of favorability and ideological alignment with Islam which was similarly evident in the Ferguson protest movement.

[ Against this backdrop shooting “White” “Christians” makes sense. ]

However, in the course of several hours (one media cycle) – the media narrative is selling a profile of a loner, mentally disturbed individual without any mention of his previous writings (deleted/changed), behaviors (hidden) and social tendencies (ignored).
Read more here.

Our prisons are filled mostly with violent people

In Slate Leon Neyfakh takes a look at our prison population. He interviews Fordham professor John Pfaff, who supplies some interesting statistics.
The U.S. prison population increased fivefold between 1980 and 2009—from approximately 320,000 inmates to 1.62 million.

...The fact of the matter is in today’s state prisons, which hold about 90 percent of all of our prisoners, only 17 percent of the inmates are there primarily for drug charges. And about two-thirds are there for either property or violent crimes.

... If you released every person in prison on a drug charge today, our state prison population would drop from about 1.5 million to 1.2 million. So we’d still be the world’s largest incarcerating country; we’d still have an enormous prison population.

...the real growth in the prison population comes from county-level district attorneys sending violent people to prison.

Read more here.

What is happening to the American middle class?

Jim Tankersley writes in the Washington Post,
Make no mistake: The American middle class is in trouble.

...It used to be that when the U.S. economy grew, workers up and down the economic ladder saw their incomes increase, too. But over the past 25 years, the economy has grown 83 percent, after adjusting for inflation — and the typical family’s income hasn’t budged. In that time, corporate profits doubled as a share of the economy. Workers today produce nearly twice as many goods and services per hour on the job as they did in 1989, but as a group, they get less of the nation’s economic pie. In 81 percent of America’s counties, the median income is lower today than it was 15 years ago.

...Even before the 2008 crisis, the 2000s were on track to be the weakest decade for job creation since the Labor Department started tracking the statistics. The great mystery is: What happened? Why did the economy stop boosting ordinary Americans in the way it once did?

...Jobs were slow to appear after the 1990 recession ended, even when growth sped up. The late-’90s tech bubble brought a shower of jobs and wealth, but when the bubble burst, all the gains were wiped out — except the ones for the wealthiest people in the country. The same was true for the housing bubble of the 2000s.

The first decade of the 21st century produced two recessions and two “jobless recoveries,” and when it was over, the vast majority of Americans found themselves no better off than they were a quarter-century ago. Median income kept falling for several years, even after the Great Recession ended.
Read much more here. There is a very cool map there, showing how many years ago median income peaked in each county in the US.

Fall colors

Although I have not gotten up in the mountains this fall, my friend Cindy Schaefer has, and here are some photos she took. Colorado is wonderful year-around, but fall is special.

Another reason why buying organic is submitting to a scam

P.D. Mangan writes at,
What makes the case against paying more for organic food more damning is the fact that our natural, human diet is loaded with pesticides, natural ones. All those dietary phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that are so good for us are composed largely of chemicals made by plants to defend themselves from predators. It may be surprising for some to learn that plants do not want to be eaten.

Animals defend themselves either by fight or by flight. Plants cannot flee, literally rooted to the ground as they are, so they fight using the only means possible: chemical warfare. Coffee plants don’t produce caffeine in order to satisfy human consumers; they do it to poison animals and insects that want to eat them. The sulforaphanes in cruciferous vegetables, the solanine in potatoes, the epicatechins in tea: none of those were put there for our benefit. The difference between an edible and an unedible plant lies merely in our ability to tolerate the toxins of an edible plant.

...conventional food doesn’t have enough pesticide residue to be of concern:

...Nearly all of the pesticide chemicals that humans are exposed to are natural, produced by the plants themselves, and the fact that there’s little if any difference between natural and synthetic pesticides can be seen in the fact that half of the natural pesticides tested caused cancer in rodents.

Furthermore, the quantity of natural pesticides that humans ingest daily is many orders of magnitude greater than the amount of synthetic pesticides.

...Science, real actual science, shows that virtually every plant food we eat contains large amounts of natural pesticides, some of which are known to cause cancer in lab animals.

The conclusion must be that organic food is a waste of money, and to the extent that some people and corporations profit from the ignorance of the public, and even feed that ignorance, a scam.
Read more here.


P.D. Mangan writes at there any reason rooted in health and biology for refraining from viewing pornography? The answer is an unequivocal yes.
First of all, consider the Coolidge effect, which “can be defined as the restoration of mating behavior in males that have reached sexual satiation with one female and show a restoration of mating behavior when the original female is replaced with a novel female.”

...when a male animal is presented with the same female over time, he will take longer to ejaculate with each mating bout; when presented with different females each instance, time to ejaculation is much shorter and remains shorter.

...Another aspect of pornography connected to the above is that it is a supernormal stimulus. This is an effect that was discovered by the Nobel Prize winning biologist Niko Tinbergen. In essence, a supernormal stimulus causes a response in an animal that is more powerful than the stimulus that the animal’s instincts normally respond to.

...In this regard, pornography has the potential to be addictive, and new research is showing that it can produce brain changes that are similar to those seen in drug addiction.

...An article written about this study did not mince words: Pea brain: watching porn online will wear out your brain and make it shrivel.

...Pornography seems to change the brain in the same manner as addictive drugs do.

...In summary, pornography is a supernormal stimulus that has at least the potential to cause its users to discard or disregard normal sexual relations in favor of increasing consumption of pornography. It has the potential to be addictive in the same manner as drugs, since it can cause changes in the neural structure of the brain.

...In these times, society views the consumption of pornography as little more than an individual choice which in essence is harmless. I believe that science is beginning to show that it is not at all harmless, and that there are good reasons rooted in biology and health, especially mental health, to avoid it. It is an addictive, disruptive drug in visual form.
Read more here.

There is no such thing as healthy aging

P.D, Mangan writes at,
The four pathologies of aging

Aging can be defined as a breakdown of homeostasis; that is, the organism as it gets older finds it increasingly difficult to regulate itself and to maintain all systems in a state of balance and of health.

A more practical way of defining aging is as increasing susceptibility to disease. Aging is the prime factor in disease risk.

There are four main cellular derangements of aging: increased inflammation, increased oxidative stress, increased mitochondrial dysfunction, and lower levels of autophagy. They are all related and linked through cellular sensors and pathways, most notably through the cellular energy sensor AMPK, which regulates aging. Improving the parameters of one of these factors also improves the others. Lowering oxidative stress, for example, also entails lower levels of inflammation and better mitochondrial function.

Autophagy, from the Greek for “self-eating”, is the regulated process through which the cell breaks down parts of itself and by sequestering them into vacuoles and digesting them. Those parts that are broken down are mainly organelles and proteins that have passed their expiration dates. In this way, autophagy provides for a continuous process of self-renewal by breaking down older structures, allowing for new ones to be built in their place.

One characteristic of aging is the accumulation of damage, and this is largely due to the failure of autophagy to attain normal functional levels. From this statement, it can be seen that bringing levels of autophagy to youthful levels can ameliorate aging by clearing out damaged parts of the cell.
There is no such thing as healthy aging. Aging means increasing susceptibility to disease and the breakdown of the organism. Being healthy when older requires retarding the aging process.)

Before we get to ways to increase autophagy, how can you completely screw up the process and ensure that your autophagy levels decline and that you get old and unhealthy in a hurry? First of all, eat all the time: graze, eat snacks, never let your body out of the fed state. Second, be sedentary and gain weight. Doing this increases levels of inflammation and oxidative stress and causes a decline in autophagy. Third, make sure all your food is processed and that you never eat a vegetable.

1.Exercise induces autophagy in peripheral tissues and in the brain.

2. Fasting: Autophagy is “a process that is potently triggered by fasting.”

3. Chemical autophagy boosters: See my article “Intermittent Fasting Boosters / Autophagy Enhancers”. These chemical autophagy boosters include resveratrol, hydroxycitrate, nicotinamide, curcumin, lithium, and EGCG (from green tea). These are all readily available over-the-counter, and are cheap and safe.

Insulin signaling from food could override the autophagy-boosting effects of these supplements, so take them during the fasted state.

4. Ketosis. Ketosis results from relatively prolonged abstention from dietary carbohydrates. It stimulates autophagy (JBC) and promotes autophagy in the brain (Medical Hypotheses), which is likely important to the neuroprotective effects of the ketogenic diet.
Please read more here.

Grab the openings

Seth Godin writes today about promotion, demotion, and opportunity.

You can learn a new skill, today, for free.

You can take on a new task at work, right now, without asking anyone.

You can make a connection, find a flaw, contribute an insight, now.

Or not.

In a fluid system, when people are moving forward, others are falling behind.

The question, then, isn't, "when am I going to get promoted?"

No, I think the question is, "will I grab these openings to become someone who's already doing work at a higher level?"

Act 'as if'. If the people around you don't figure out what an asset you've become, someone else will.

Carson now on top

John Merline reports at Investors Business Daily that Ben Carson has now vaulted to the top of the pack in the latest presidential preference poll.
The nationwide survey found that 24% of Republicans back Carson, compared with 17% who say they support Trump.

Marco Rubio came in third with 11% and Carly Fiorina fourth at 9%. Jeb Bush, once considered a prohibitive favorite, ranked fifth with just 8% support, which was a point lower than those who say they are still undecided.
Read more here.

A recipe for disaster

At PJ Media Roger L. Simon gives his views on the issue of accepting immigrants from the Middle East.
This new migration is as perfect a recipe for disaster as you could find. I hate to sound like an exclusionist in the melting pot, but I would be lying to say that we should admit any of these people. Well, maybe one or two, after they are vetted for a dozen years or so (not exactly cost effective). And, ironically, the only way for the Middle East to change is for these people to stay and fight it out. (Yes, it could take a thousand years.)

Donald Trump, who evidently feels the same way, opened the door on the immigration question and got branded a racist for it. Of course he’s not. He was only talking honestly, if a bit coarsely, about social problems we’re having. For the left, it’s much easier and more effective to accuse him of racism. Otherwise, they’d have to deal with the problem. Who wants that? It might cost you votes. Nevertheless, bad as this southern immigration may be with all the attendant crime, we can survive it. We will assimilate in the end. We can come together.

UPDATE: As I completed this post, I notice via Instapundit that the strongest opponent of sharia law in the United States among all the presidential candidates has risen to the top of the polls. That is Dr. Ben Carson. So what I have written above may not be the opinion of a minority crank.
Read more here.


h/t Darleen Click

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Just ignore the law!

Do you suppose it is a possibility that Obama has made a deal with the Castro brothers to turn over the Guantanamo prison to the Cuban commies? So they can imprison more Cubans who disagree with their regime?

Valerie Richardson reports at the Washington Times,
Even though the 2015 National Defense Appropriation Act renews the congressional ban on transferring of Gitmo detainees to U.S. soil, the Defense Department has conducted site surveys at highly secure facilities recently in Kansas and South Carolina, meeting in both instances with staunch opposition from GOP governors.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said in August that his state will not be part of any “illegal ill-advised action by this administration” to transfer the 52 detainees to U.S. soil, while South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said that “we are not going to allow South Carolina to become a magnet for terrorists to come here.”

By comparison, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, was more open-minded. His spokeswoman told The Associated Press that he “wants to have a full understanding of the costs, risk and impacts for Colorado.”

All the Colorado Congressional representatives and both senators have said all the right things in opposition. Senator Bennet, though, is up for reelection in 2016, and may need money for his campaign.
Read more here.

Homecoming 2015

My son Jon adjusts his new hat before getting in the truck to go participate in his first homecoming dance last night. He had a good time, but neither Jon nor Greg was impressed at the DJ's choice of music (rap and hip hop).

h/t Colleen

Sharia law

The Constitution versus Sharia

h/t Robert Rich

"Kinder than he appears"

Leonardo Blair reports for the Christian Post,
Despite his veneer of bombast and blunt pronouncements that sometimes bristle even the most composed of his political rivals, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told about 40 religious leaders in a private Monday meeting that he is indeed "a man of faith," but just doesn't wear it on his sleeve.

Don Nori, founder of Christian book publisher Destiny Image, who was at the meeting held on the 26th floor of Trump Tower in New York City, told CNN that while Trump spoke to the leaders for a bit, he spent most of the time listening to their concerns and advice about him as a candidate.

And although Trump has developed a reputation for being brash, mean and insincere about his faith, Nori said on Monday religious leaders saw a different man.

"He talked a lot about his faith. He says it's not something he wears on his sleeve, but it was very obvious he was a man of faith," said Nori. "He is a much kinder man than he appears."
Read more here.

They punted

Kurt Schlichter writes in The Federalist,
The revelation that our generals expect Americans solders to allow screaming young boys to be sodomized and not stop it is simply the latest manifestation of the utter moral bankruptcy infecting the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

...Many of these generals are decorated combat veterans who would gleefully charge an enemy machine-gun nest. But that physical courage in the face of the enemy does not translate into moral courage in the face of politicians and social justice warriors. It’s disheartening to see officers with Combat Infantryman badges and silver stars sheepishly nodding along with the lies of the coddled liberal elite.

...Obama cares nothing for the military, and no one expects him to. But it is not too much to expect our generals to care about their organizations, to care about winning wars and protecting their soldiers more than about getting that additional star.

...The military certainly had a tough problem in Afghanistan. Within the military, the fact that many of our putative allies delight in raping kids was an open secret. On one hand, you can’t always expect your allies in Third World knifefights to be Eagle Scouts. On the other hand, we are talking about raping kids.

...the craven generals selected the worst possible option, and failed to give clear guidance one way or the other. Instead of taking on the responsibility that comes with the job, they punted. They chose not to give clear orders — “See it and stop it” or “See it but do nothing” — putting the risk they should bear as commanders onto their subordinates. Now, soldiers have to decide whether to do what is right or do what their generals telegraph they want done but won’t say because they don’t want to be held accountable for it.

This comes in the form of squishy guidance like, “If you see it, report it.” Apparently, a captain who comes across a kid being raped on some forward operating base is to do an about-face, stroll back to the main command post, call up to his battalion, which calls up to the brigade, which calls up to the division, and so on until it gets to the top, at which point the Afghan government gets told that out there in the wild one of their guys is raping kids. Presumably the pederast has finished the act by the time whatever consequences (if any) follow.

So, if the captain acts according to Army values and puts a stop to the child rape, he’s wrong. If he does nothing, and later some congressman or reporter asks the general why his troops aren’t stopping child rapes, the captain is going to be wrong again. If you think the general is going to say, “Oh, the captain as just following my order to allow child rapes occurring in front of him to continue,” you are delusional.

...Obama bears some of the blame because he could fix this with a few select firings and unequivocal guidance that values come first. But no one expects that of him, and there is no excuse why the generals have not done it themselves. They could demand competence. They could demand moral courage. They could resign rather than play along with misguided politics. But they have chosen their stars and positions and perks instead. It’s a disgrace, and our troops and little Afghan kids are paying the price.
Read more here.

Trump strikes a deal with the city of Palm Beach

Conservative Tribune has a story about how Donald Trump was fined for flying the American flag too high:
At Mar-a-Lago Club, Trump’s elite Palm Beach, Florida property, he had an American flag prominently raised on the grounds to show his patriotism. Apparently, the hoighty-toighty residents of the neighborhood weren’t thrilled when they saw Old Glory flying 50 feet above the ground — which was 20 feet higher than ordinances allowed.

So they complained, a lot. Enough so that the city began fining The Donald $1,000 per day while his flag stood, according to Snopes.

After rounds of back-and-forth fighting, Trump and the city finally came to an agreement — after the fine had grown to a staggering $120,000.

Trump’s solution? He told the city he would move the flag and pole to a different spot on the estate and lower it to the allowed 30 feet. In return, Trump insisted that the $120,000 be donated to veterans organizations.

The city agreed. How could they not? The master of the deal struck again, this time for an exceedingly good cause that any proud American could rally behind.
Read more here.

Trey Gowdy questions Planned Parenthood's leader

Jason Chaffetz announces for speaker job

The speaker election is set for Thursday. Emily Stephenson reports at Reuters that Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz has
declared a bid to become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Chaffetz, 48, of Utah, rose quickly to committee leadership after being elected in 2008. He has gained attention for aggressively targeting Planned Parenthood.
Read more (biased) coverage here.

Chaffetz is a life long Democrat, until he met Ronald Reagan, so proceed with caution. Jennifer Kern will write about this tomorrow in the Blaze.

Paper, plastic, or reusable?

Katherine Mangu-Ward asks at Reason,
How did one of the most efficient, resource-saving inventions of the 20th century become an environmentalist bugaboo?

...About 65 percent of Americans report that they repurpose their grocery bags for garbage. By contrast, a survey by the marketing research firm Edelman Berland found that consumers reported forgetting their reusable bags on 40 percent of grocery trips and opted for plastic or paper instead.

...If you're like most people, here's what you have probably done at least once: Put a leaky package of chicken in your cloth or plastic tote. Then go home, empty the bag, crumple it up, and toss it in the trunk of your car to fester. A week later, you go shopping again and throw some veggies you're planning to eat raw into the same bag. Cue diarrhea.

...A 2011 survey published in the journal Food Protection Trends found coliform bacteria in fully half of the reusable shopping bags tested in a random survey of shoppers in Arizona and California. The same 2014 Edelman Berland study that found consumers frequently forgot their bags also unearthed the fact that only 18 percent of shoppers reported cleaning their bags "once a week or more." An article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases traced a 2010 outbreak of norovirus to nine members of an Oregon soccer team who had touched or eaten food stored in a contaminated reusable bag.

...Though it was meant as irony, there was an essential (if accidental) truth behind the speech. The technology behind plastic grocery bags is so useful it won a Nobel Prize. Employing an unimaginably small amount of base material, manufacturers can create tools of surprising strength and durability. Far from being the environmental threat activists make them out to be, plastic bags are not particularly to blame for clogged sewers, choked rivers, asphyxiated sea animals, or global warming. Instead, they are likely our best bet for carrying all of our junk in a responsible manner.
Read more here.


Wisdom. What is it? How do we get it? How do we foster it?

At Big Questions Online Margaret Plews-Ogan wrote,
When researcher Judith Glück and colleagues asked subjects to describe a situation in which they acted wisely, compared to a peak experience, they found that the wisdom situations more often involved difficult or negative events, implying that wisdom perhaps develops through the experience of adversity. Pascual Leone and colleagues described these challenging situations as “ultimate limit situations,” circumstances that “cannot be undone and are nonetheless faced with consciousness and resolve…situations like death, illness, aging, …absolute failure…uncontrollable fear.” Psychologists Tedeschi and Calhoun have been studying this positive response to trauma for the past ten years, a phenomenon they call post-traumatic growth. We’ve all heard of post-traumatic stress, but these researchers noted that when asked about how trauma might have changed them for the better, people began to describe the positive ways in which they had changed because of what they had lived through. This complex set of changes fall into five domains: increased appreciation of life, warmer relations with others, recognition of new possibilities for one’s life, a greater sense of personal strength, and spiritual development.

Tedeschi and Calhoun suggest that trauma induces a disruption in our understanding of ourselves and the world (our schema) and that disruption forces us to re-work our understanding of ourselves and the world, resulting in learning and growth with the potential for wisdom as the final result. In the Wisdom in Medicine project we were interested in this question of whether moving through a difficult circumstance in a positive way can result in wisdom. We studied patients who had coped with chronic pain, and physicians who had made a serious medical error. When asked what they had learned and how they had changed for the better because of their experience, they used the language of wisdom. They talked about having increased compassion for others, increased capacity for forgiveness and humility, an increased desire to understand things, but also a deeper understanding of the ambiguous nature of things, and becoming more aware of the limitations of our knowledge.

Of course, not everyone who suffers through a difficult experience comes out with something positive. In fact, you could argue, adversity is just as likely to make someone bitter, angry, cynical and entrenched as it is to make them compassionate, humble, more able to see things from other’s perspectives. So I will argue that it is not just adversity, but rather adversity plus the right matrix and the inner capacity to use that difficult experience in a positive way that leads to wisdom.

We asked the Wisdom in Medicine exemplars “what helped?”, what made it easier for them to move positively through their difficult experiences? Here’s a summary of what they told us. Having a community, someone they could talk to, to tell their story, was important. Cultivating gratitude and positive emotion, quiet reflection (whether meditation, mindfulness, prayer) was helpful. Doing something positive, which often involved doing things for others, was helpful. And having a moral or spiritual grounding helped to guide them through this process and helped them to “do the right thing” when it was hard.

There was something else surprising in the data. As researchers we experienced an ah ha moment as we painstakingly combed through the data. All of the exemplars had at one point made a choice, a conscious, deliberate choice to pursue something that was hard. It may not have been what they really wanted to do, and certainly not something they thought would necessarily end up well. But it was something they felt they had to do to set things straight. They chose, in many cases, the harder course of action. They chose to face their circumstances face on. We say, they “stepped in”. They may have decided to apologize to a patient or family, to go into a room full of intense judgment. It might have meant that they had to face their addiction, or take control of their health. At some point they made a courageous choice to make a difference in their own lives.

But how did these exemplars have the courage and the capacity to make these choices? I believe that the matrix in which we experience these difficult circumstances has a lot to do with how we move through them. Researcher John Meachum talks about a wisdom atmosphere as being one in which doubts, uncertainties and questions can be openly expressed, and ambiguities and contradictions can be tolerated, so that individuals are not forced to adopt the defensive position of what he calls “too confident knowing”.
Read more here.

You belong to me

Benjamin Ames writes, "The fireworks show had just ended, but she thought she kept hearing them outside. So we sang to keep her mind preoccupied. In the end, nothing competes with fireworks."

Isn't this guy wonderful?

And our president jumped right into it

These murders are happening daily in the world

This Jewish couple were gunned down by Palestinian Muslims on October 1. Judah Ari Gross and Times of Israel staff report,
An Israeli mother and father were killed in a shooting attack on their vehicle Thursday night in the northern West Bank.

The couple, identified late Thursday as Eitam and Naama Henkin of the settlement of Neria north of Ramallah, leaves behind four children — aged 4 months, 4, 7 and 9 — who were in the vehicle at the time of the attack, but were not hit by the gunfire.

The Hamas terror group praised the “heroic attack” and called for “more high-quality attacks.”
Read more here.

Migrants getting organized

Emily Kent Smith In Calais For The Daily Mail and Martin Robinson for MailOnline report,

An organised mob of 200 migrants charged into the Calais entrance of the Channel Tunnel early yesterday, chanting ‘open the borders’ and demanding to be allowed into Britain.

They tore down fences and charged past police, who retaliated by spraying tear gas. When the migrants were finally beaten back, they regrouped to form a human barricade, blocking the road to the tunnel.

A French riot officer was left needing stitches in his head and face after police were pelted by stones last night as around 1,700 migrants again tried to storm the Channel Tunnel - the highest number for several days.

For the past week thousands of people have stormed fences and desperately tried to clamber on trains bound for Kent - a deadly gamble that has allowed at least 200 to get to Britain but also claimed the lives of nine people.

The trouble began in the early hours of Sunday when 200 migrants were yards from entering the Channel Tunnel on foot after storming down barricades.

They ran towards the fences, smashing and tearing down the flimsy barriers as they went.

They were only held back by tear gas.
Read more here.

Police escort only

Doctors and ambulances will now only enter German refugee camp when escorted by police.

Tom Parfitt reports for the Sunday UK Express,
They will not visit the so-called 'tent city' near Calden, Germany without a security escort, a police spokesman for the region said.

The makeshift camp, which houses more than 1,300 refugees, has been rocked by riots and fights in recent weeks.

Last month an ambulance was dispatched to the camp but the crew were harassed and the vehicle was attacked, according to reports.

Read more here.

Build Wall. No Rapists. Better Deals. Let’s Win.

Commenter shartiste at Chateau Heartiste believes that Donald Trump intuitively understands the "normal" people of America.
When normals have an option, they will always be won over by leaders that intuitively understand them. These leaders will have an advantage because they work with people’s sensibilities and people need far less Machiavellian persuasion this way. Messages become simple: Build Wall. No Rapists. Better Deals. Let’s Win. Obvious truths negate decades of carefully insidious progressive demoralization of the masses. Those in control take great care to make sure these leaders never break in to the arena, because once they do they are not the heel, they are the hero. The barriers to entry are high.

Trump is the first to make it. He may not be the last. But he may also be the last chance. When the defective/normal ratio tips too high, coupled with universal suffrage, the state is doomed. If Trump gets cockblocked it will be an interesting century for America or whatever is left of it.
Read more here.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Trump's latest interview with Sean Hannity

Full interview on Fox News: Donald Trump with Sean Hannity. Some Trumpisms: Russia will be in a quagmire in the Middle East for many years to come. We have had the dumbest foreign policy people in our nation's history. I want us to build up America. We don't go for victory. We haven't had the right leaders. Putin has no respect for our president. A day after they meet Putin sends troops in to Syria. They're shipping migrants in, why can't we send them back? Dwight Eisenhower moved a million people out in the 1950s. We lose in everything.

h/t Adrienne's Corner

Best news bloopers of September, 2015

Are you in the mood to laugh? There is some funny stuff here.

h/t CDR M

Homecoming Dance

Tonight is son Greg's first Homecoming Dance. He seems happy.

H/t Colleen

Shedding the Catholic Church’s historic immunity from American politics

Victor Davis Hanson writes about Pope Francis' visit to America.
Unpopular though it may be to say so, I, for one, grew exhausted by the non-stop pronouncements /commentaries of Pope Francis. The spiritual leader of 1 billion Catholics — roughly half of the world’s Christians — Francis just completed a high-profile, endlessly publicized visit to the United States.

But unlike past visiting pontiffs, the Argentine-born Francis weighed in on a number of hot-button U.S. social, domestic, and foreign-policy issues during a heated presidential-election cycle.

...Hundreds of thousands of migrants are now swarming illegally into the West, whether into Europe mostly from the Middle East, or into America from Latin America. They arrive in numbers that make them difficult to assimilate and integrate, with radical repercussions on the host country’s ability to serve the social needs of its own poorer citizens.

Yet Francis reserves most of his advice for host countries to ensure that they treat the often-impoverished and mostly young male newcomers with Christian humanity. That advice is admirable. But the pope might have likewise lectured the leaders of countries such as Syria and Mexico to stop whatever they are doing to heartlessly drive out millions of their own citizens from their homes.

Or he might have suggested that migrants seek lawful immigration and thereby more charitably not harm the interests of immigrants who wait patiently until they can resettle lawfully.

Or he might have praised the West for uniquely creating conditions that draw in, rather than repel, the world’s migrants.

...Because Pope Francis has shed the Catholic Church’s historic immunity from American politics, for good or bad, he and the church are fair game for political pushback.

But do we really want a priest in the role of Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz, dressed in ancient Roman miter and vestments, addressing hot-button issues with divine sanction?
Read more here.

Gun free zone

h/t Theo Spark


h/t Theo Spark

Protect the Constitution...or protect the institution?

Sincerity is everything. Once you can fake that, you've got it made!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Turning boys into girls

Milo Yiannopoulos writes at Breitbart,
That’s why I’m so distressed that heterosexual men are being told, constantly, by the media and even in schools, that what they are is bad.

Masculinity only becomes “toxic” when it is beaten down and suppressed and when men are told that what and who they are is defective. It becomes toxic when young boys are drugged in school because they don’t conform to feminine standards of behaviour.

...Progressives don’t see the irony in going after “straight white men.” But they are hypocritical bigots, hounding people for gender, skin colour and sexuality and saying that essential male characteristics are wrong. Men must be allowed to compete.

...The confusion and alienation that so many young men feel today drives some to drop out of society completely and to retreat into pornography and video games. But others — the less stable, less supported, less able to cope with their natures — become progressively more angry until they explode in rage and pain.

...railing against guys for “toxic masculinity” clearly hasn’t worked. So why not try something new? Why not celebrate what makes men unique instead of trying to turn boys into girls? Why not harness that power and set men back to work? To make America great again, we need to rescue our lost generation of young males.
Read more here.

Does anyone have an answer? What's your plan?

No gays, but fleet-footed pre-op transsexuals in abundance? Odd place, Iran.

Ian Tuttle reports at National Review,

For anyone who still maintains that Iran would never cheat:

Iranian soccer fans were left reeling earlier this week after eight members of the women’s national team were found to be men, the Al-Arabiya website reported on Monday.

Mojtabi Sharifi, described as an official connected to the Iranian soccer league, said that the footballers “have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations.”

He claimed that some of the men had enjoyed a whole career as female players and only outed themselves just before retiring from their teams.

No gays, but fleet-footed pre-op transsexuals in abundance? Odd place, Iran.

(Via the Times of Israel.)

Having made his pronouncement, the ostrich buries his head back in the sand.

Jonah Goldberg writes at National Review,
This is the Obama doctrine in a nutshell. The president’s favorite rhetorical trope is to justify withdrawing from the world on the grounds that the “international community” will fill the vacuum created by our abdication. But the international community’s troops always stay in their barracks. Meanwhile, bad actors — Russia, China, Iran, et al. — seize the opening. Our president responds with mournful words that doing so is not in the villains’ interests. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s bombing of his own people demonstrate, according to Obama, that they are on “the wrong side of history.”

Having made his pronouncement, the ostrich buries his head back in the sand.
Read more here.

Be useful!

Are you a non-believer? If not, do you still live by a moral code? Scott Adams has a suggested moral code for non-believers: Be useful.
To me, a well-lived life starts with total selfishness, as a baby, and over time you learn to take care of yourself before turning outward and trying to help those around you. I’m at the helpful age now. I enjoy recreation, but I only find meaning and satisfaction from being useful to other people. I think that change in a person happens automatically after we satisfy our own needs. Our strongest instincts after self-preservation are, apparently, to protect the tribe.

You probably think “useful” is a vague standard, and far too subjective. But you might be surprised at how often it clarifies your world and your role in it.

My only expectation from other humans is that they are trying to move up the scale from useless (as a baby) to relatively useful as an adult. And by that I mean you add to society more than you subtract. I don’t think we should assume some “normal” rate at which people should become useful. Everyone is different. But I do think the world is better when everyone is trying to move in that direction.

Keep in mind that we are flawed creatures, so our sense of what is useful at any given moment might be biased or totally mistaken. But as long as our intentions are leaning the right way, I think it all works out in the long run.
Read more here.

How brain implants can be used by paralyzed people

Eliza Strickland reports at IEEE Specrum,
Typing six words per minute may not sound very impressive. But for paralyzed people typing via a brain-computer interface (BCI), it’s a new world record.

To pull off this feat, two paralyzed people used prosthetics implanted in their brains to control computer cursors with unprecedented accuracy and speed. The experiment, reported today in Nature Medicine, was the latest from a team testing a neural system called BrainGate2. While this implant is only approved for experiments right now, researchers say this demonstration proves that such technology can be truly useful to quadriplegics, and points the way toward regular at-home use.
Read more here.

Will Hillary share her growth secrets?

Jay Mathews wonders at The Washington Post how Hillary Clinton grew from 5'5" in 2008 to 5'7" now. Will she share her secret with those of us who are shrinking?
Read more here.

How Trump will frame one-on-one match-ups

Scott Adams thinks Trump will be the next president of the United States.
If you compare Donald Trump to whoever you have in mind as your ideal president, Trump probably comes up short. There are plenty of qualities one might want in a president that Trump doesn’t have. So I understand why people think he can’t get elected.

But Trump will not be running against anyone’s imaginary standard for president. He will run against real people. That’s where things get interesting. In my opinion, Trump only got serious about the presidency when he realized that the one-on-one match-ups all went his way. So let’s see how those match-ups look.

Here I am going to put a Trump filter on the opponents, meaning I will paint them the way Trump has, and will. That’s the best way to judge the head-to-head competition because the media will report every word Trump says.

Here are Trump’s competitors, as branded by Trump.

Rubio: Sweaty kid who lied about doing his homework while Trump built a business empire. Got “rolled over” on Obamacare, like a rube, in case you had not made that linguistic connection.

Clinton: A “major security risk” and a grandmother who can’t do email right while Trump dominates Twitter.

Carson: A doctor who is too nice to negotiate deals. The only job he created was for one nurse. (And for Carson to win, one must believe the Republican base wants 16 years of of continuous African-American presidents.)

Sanders: Can you win if you get zero Republican votes?

Fiorina: HP failure. Lucent failure. And of course, the “face” which many men interpret to mean her angry-wife persona. Compare that mixture of failure and anger to Trump’s business success (so he tells us) and positive message about America.

Bush: Low-energy, and yet another Bush. We already see how that is working out for Bush.

Biden: Biden says he isn’t sure he has the “emotional energy” to run. How does that match up against Trump? Ask Jeb Bush.

The rest: Career politicians. Trump will chain their corporate donors to them like anchors and push them off the boat to see how well they swim.

So there are your match-ups. Since I am still mostly alone in predicting a landslide Trump victory in the general election, please tell me which one of these match-ups you think Trump could lose.

I think this is another situation in which my degree in economics, along with my MBA, have wired me to think differently. The most important thing one learns when studying business and the economy is how to make valid comparisons. For example, one must always ignore sunk costs (the past) and one must compare all options to real alternatives, not to an ideal.

If you think Trump will lose, you are probably comparing him to an ideal you hold for what a president should be. If you believe he will win, you probably have a background in economics, or law, or engineering, and you have learned how to make valid comparisons to alternatives.

That’s your cognitive dissonance set-up. If you feel you are a rational person who knows how to weigh alternatives, let me know how any of the competitors could win in a one-on-one match-up with Trump.
Read more here.

Is Rubio weak? Did he lie about reading the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) text before voting to fast-track it?

Matthew Boyle writes at Breitbart,
“No I don’t really believe him,” Trump told Breitbart News when asked if he believes Rubio’s claim he read the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) text before voting to fast-track it.

...Trump’s questioning of whether Rubio read TPP before voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) zones in on one of the most critical weaknesses of Rubio’s presidential candidacy. “I can confirm Senator Rubio read the TPP text weeks ago,” Rubio spokeswoman Brooke Sammon told Breitbart News back in late June, after Rubio made a decision to become the 60th and deciding vote for Obama’s trade agenda—which TPA enables and essentially ensures passage through Congress.

But here’s the catch: Despite Sammon’s claim that Rubio read the TPP text before voting to fast-track it with TPA, Rubio and his army of political consultants haven’t been able to provide any evidence that he actually read it. The TPP text was locked away inside a secret room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol—as Breitbart News reported time and again—and the only place members could read it was inside that room. So, to have actually read it before voting for it, since TPP was around 800 pages long according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rubio would have had to spend around two full business days inside the room reading the bill.
Read more here.

A new maxim from Chateau Heartiste: A Woman Never Falls Out Of Love With A Selfish Jerk

Chateau Heartiste writes,
This post will have many detractors, but if they would stop and think about what they have actually observed happening when women and their beloved jerkboys break up, they will see the wisdom in CH Maxim #16: A woman never falls out of love with a selfish jerk.

This does not mean a woman never ends a relationship with a selfish jerk. It means that, even when the woman initiates the break-up (usually from desperate frustration at her failed attempts to extract a tiny concession toward domestication from her jerkboy), she will continue feeling strong love for the incorrigible jerk who makes her swoon.

A woman’s love, once ignited, is hard to extinguish. But there are ways in which women genuinely fall out of love. Being a jerk is not one of them.

Here is a list of the most common scenarios that can cause a woman’s love for a man to wither and die.

the formerly lovable jerkboy turns beta while lounging in the comfort bubble of a long-term relationship or marriage.

This is the biggest reason why women fall out of love. The charming jerkboys they once knew transformed into boring beta males suckling at their teats for emotional nourishment. Marriage/LTRs are not only fattening agents, they also acts as hardening agents on women’s hearts, and as solvents on men’s scrotums.

she found a higher status man.

Female hypergamy is a bitch. Darkly, women can fall out of love if they meet a man superior in many ways to their current lovers. It’s not nearly as common as scenario #1 above, because love tends to dampen women’s hypergamous instinct.

she lost weight and suddenly found herself the center of male attention.

Women can fall in love with lower SMV men if their self-perception is that they are themselves low SMV. But woe to the beta male who marries a fatty who later slims down (it’s been known to happen). She will “feel her oats” and her love will migrate from her loser man who settled for her to better men with options who actively CHOOSE her newly slender sexiness.

The above are the big three explanations for how women fall out of love.

What you will never see: A woman falling out of love with her man because he was too much of a charming, narcissistic, selfish jerkboy to her.

She may very well end her RELATIONSHIP with the jerk, but that’s not the same as ending her LOVE for him. In fact, you will often hear freshly single women lament their lingering love for the jerkboys they had to let go to spare their sanity (or to find a man willing to give them marriage and children). You know, you’ll hear stuff like,

“I still love him, but it wasn’t going anywhere.”

“I’ll never stop loving him, but I had to do what was right for me.”

“GOD, you make this so difficult!”

“I’ll never stop having feelings for you.”

“Is this what you wanted? IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED?!”

“We’re done. I can’t take it anymore. You had my love, everything. Why did you throw it away?”

When a woman ends a relationship with a jerkboy, she leaves with love still fluttering in her heart. A deluge of her tears will accompany the jerk’s exit from her life. (For his part, he will leave sad, but not cripplingly sad, and not at all worried about finding another girl, and this will naturally drive the woman crazy and deeper in love.) Her words will ring with tragic exasperation, and sorrow for what she feels unwilling to do. It will take months, sometimes years, sometimes longer than that, for her to fully get over the jerk, and achieve some inner peace when she can once again give her body and heart freely to another man without the stigmata of the jerk’s love marking her out as the ex-maiden of a demon’s unearthly magnetism.

Now, compare and contrast to a woman leaving a beta male:

No love in her heart. (only pity, sometimes contempt)
Impeccably trouble-free transition out of the relationship.
No guilt, pained regret, or second thoughts.
No mention of the word “love”.
Cold as ice execution of the break-up.
Outward-focused blame, rather than inward-focused. (she blames herself for the jerk’s inability to commit to her satisfaction. she blames the beta for her loss of desire for him)
Little need to lean on female friends or beta orbiters for emotional support during the post-break-up adjustment period and follow-up rebound dating.

Women leave selfish jerks all the time. But women never really fall out of love with selfish jerks. They carry that jerkboy torch all their lives, a warm nostalgia preserving forever a faint echo of loyalty to the jerkboy and simultaneously an inconvenient barrier to any future betas who might foolishly try to win the full scope of her heart for themselves.

PS There’s a major sex difference on the theme of this post. A man will never leave a sexy woman with heaviness in his heart because she won’t commit to an LTR or otherwise follow his script for their future together. A man in such a situation will privately nurse his disappointment but never think about giving up such a fine piece of ass on the regular. If he does finally give up on her on his own terms, it will be because some other equally cute and marginally less crazy girl started showing interest in him. Men DO fall out of love, though. It happens all the time when women get older and/or fatter.

Oregon Christians martyred for their faith

Barrel Strength writes,
The rampage killer in the Oregon community college, Chris Harper Mercer, martyred – that is the word – ten Christians yesterday for the crime – in his eyes- of their faith. I can only shudder at the bravery of those who, seeing their classmates killed for admitting to being Christians, still admitted to being Christians themselves. I am not sure I would have had the courage. But my concern is the atmosphere of loose anti-Christian talk of the Dawkins-Dennett variety that has pervaded the culture, and given the justification to the crazy angry young men of this world to kill Christians. The killer was not a Muslim; he was what can be described as a secular-humanist, an atheist. Such people used to lack convictions; recently they have been led to believe their atheism amounts to a justification for martyring the faithful who have convictions or beliefs different from their own.
Read more here.

Dana Loesch refutes Obama's lies on gun violence

The umbrella has been unfolded

Thursday, October 01, 2015

New hope

Tim Lamden reports for The Daily Mail,
New hope for dementia and brain-damaged patients: Scientists develop implant that can save short-term memories from being forgotten.

Dementia sufferers and brain-damaged soldiers who cannot recall the recent past have been given new hope of retaining memories - with the advent of an electrical implant.

Researchers in the US have developed the world’s first prosthetic implant to help a disabled brain encode memories to make them last.

The essential part of the research is a computer algorithm that mimics the electrical signalling used by the brain to translate short-term into permanent memories.

...The implant has been developed at the University of Southern California and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in a decade-long collaboration.

Although there is no way of ‘reading’ a memory, the electrical signalling makes it possible to bypass a damaged or diseased region of the brain and decode the content or meaning of a memory from its electrical signal.

According to the Financial Times, researchers told an international conference in Milan that the implant has been tested successfully on rats and monkeys and was now being used on human brains.

The project is funded by Darpa, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is interested in new ways to help injured soldiers recover from memory loss.

But the researchers say the technology could also help to treat neuro-degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, by enabling electrical brain signals to bypass damaged areas in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre, where memories are then stored.

If it is damaged or degraded, it can fail to turn recent events into long-term memories.
Read more here.

What she's like up close

Deroy Murdock writes at National Review about Ronald Kessler's new book about the Secret Service, First Family Detail.
Good morning, ma’am,” a member of the uniformed Secret Service once greeted Hillary Clinton. “F*** off,” she replied.

Kessler writes flatteringly and critically about people in both parties. Regarding the Clintons, Kessler presents Chelsea as a model protectee who respected and appreciated her agents. He describes Bill as a difficult chief executive, but an easygoing ex-president. And Kessler exposes Hillary as an epically abusive Arctic monster. “When in public, Hillary smiles and acts graciously,” Kessler explains. “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident.” He adds: “Hillary Clinton can make Richard Nixon look like Mahatma Gandhi.”

...She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”

“Hillary didn’t like the military aides wearing their uniforms around the White House,” one former agent remembers. “She asked if they would wear business suits instead. The uniform’s a sign of pride, and they’re proud to wear their uniform. I know that the military was actually really offended by it.”

...“We spent years with her,” yet another Secret Service agent notes. “She never said thank you.”

...Secret Service “agents consider being assigned to her detail a form of punishment,” Kessler concludes. “In fact, agents say being on Hillary Clinton’s detail is the worst duty assignment in the Secret Service.”

...Ronald Kessler has studied the Secret Service and its relationships with dozens of presidents, vice presidents, and their families. His astonishment at Hillary Clinton’s inhumanity should reverberate inside every American’s head. As he told me: “No one would hire such a person to work at a McDonald’s, and yet she is being considered for president of the United States.”
Read more here.

Netanyahu's riveting speech at the UN

Women who prefer jerkboys

Chateau Heartiste asks,
Our society condemns all sorts of male weirdos for their sexual predilections, why can’t we equally condemn these female killer groupies for their sexual predilection? Or is it only men’s sexual preferences that qualify for opprobrium by the feminist industrial simplex? Rhetorical.

CH is referring to photos sent to Holmes by female admirers from around the world. The photos have been put up on the cell wall by the mass murderer of people in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings.

Putin, the alpha male of the Middle East

Arthur Herman writes at National Review,
The sound you’d be hearing this morning if you live in the devastated city of Homs in Syria, would be Russian jets doing bombing runs against your neighbors rebelling against dictator Bashar al-Assad.

And not just in Homs. The roar of those Russian jets is being heard around the world; it’s the sound of Vladimir Putin becoming the new alpha male and power broker of the Middle East.

What I dubbed in a recent NR article the Pax Putinica is rapidly taking shape. Just as the earlier Pax Americana was aimed at containing the Soviet Union, so Putin’s new world order is aimed at smashing the U.S.’s influence as a superpower, first in Europe and now in the eastern Mediterranean.

Our president, meanwhile, is letting it all happen. If Vladimir Putin is the dominant alpha male in the new international pecking order, Barack Obama has emerged as his highly submissive partner.

There are various reasons why we are being subjected to the humiliating spectacle of an American president, so-called leader of the free world, rolling over on the mat at Putin’s feet.

...Why should Putin not assume that when he orders the U.S. to stop its own air strikes against ISIS in Syria, and to leave the skies to the Russians, he won’t be obeyed?

But there’s more to Obama’s passivity than just pack behavior, and the real explanation is Iran.

Since gaining the presidency, Obama’s entire policy of constructive engagement with Iran, including the current nuclear deal, has been built on the premise that Russia will help, both with shutting down Iran’s nuclear program when a deal is finally struck, and re-imposing sanctions if Iran doesn’t.

...Of course this is all an Obama fantasy, reinforced by Obama’s deep disdain for our allies in the region, Israel and the Saudis, who are also the ones most worried by Russia’s escalating influence. They know Putin’s ambitions run counter to real peace and stability in the Middle East; that he has no intention of defeating ISIS if it helps keep the region in turmoil and no reason to rein in Iran’s nuclear program as long as fear or Iran serves Russian interests. They also understand that Putin will be able to play the Shia Iranians against the Sunni Arabs in order to increase his own status as power broker, as well as his status as gatekeeper for other powers who will want a bigger piece of the action in the Pax Putinica Middle East, including China.

In the meantime, Obama’s fantasy has turned U.S. policy in the region inside out – and propelled Russia back into the ranks of the world’s superpowers. The next president will have to deal with the consequences of that passivity. For now, the rest of us will be listening for the roar of Russian jets — and hoping they stay in the Middle East.
Read more here.

Russia strikes American allies in Syria

Nancy A. Youssef writes at the Daily Beast,
A Russian general told U.S. officials to quit flying over Syria just before Moscow’s air force dropped bombs on Western-backed forces.

A Russian general asked the U.S. to remove its planes from Syrian airspace Wednesday, just hours before Russian airstrikes began there.

The Russian three-star general, who was part of the newly formed intelligence cell with Iraq, Iran, and the Syrian government, arrived in Baghdad at 9 a.m. local time and informed U.S. officials that Russian strikes would be starting imminently—and that the U.S. should refrain from conducting strikes and move any personnel out. The only notice the U.S. received about his visit was a phone call one hour earlier.

...The Russian strikes were centered about the city of Homs, according to initial accounts in the local press and in social media. That’s significant, because Homs is not known to be an ISIS stronghold.

"The northern countryside of Hama has no presence of ISIS at all and is under the control of the Free Syrian Army," Major Jamil al-Saleh of the Free Syrian Army told Reuters. U.S. officials corroborated this account to The Daily Beast.

The FSA has receieved U.S.-made anti-tank missiles; the CIA and Pentagon have been recruiting FSA soldiers as proxies against ISIS.

...As American officials scrambled to confirm the impact of the strikes, they conceded the operation was a rebuke of talks between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin about deconfliction.
Read more here.

Obama disses Netanyahu again

Who would you say are the main allies of the United States? The United Kingdom? Israel? France? Germany?

Jordan Schachtel reports at Breitbart,
Obama Pulled Kerry and Amb. Power From Netanyahu Speech.

...Although they were both in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meetings, the two high-ranking U.S. officials were notably absent for the entirety of the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech.

...“70 years after the murder of six-million Jews, Iran’s rulers promised to destroy my country, murder my people, and the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here, has been absolutely nothing. Utter silence. Deafening Silence,” Netanyahu said in his condemnation of the United Nations.

In his address, Netanyahu said that Iran’s “plan to destroy Israel will fail. Israel will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future.”

“Israel will not allow Iran to break in, to sneak in, or to walk into the nuclear weapons club,” he pledged.
Read more here.

What the media did not publicize about Pope Francis

Did you know that Pope Francis had a covert meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis last week, in which he presented her with two rosaries and urged her to stay strong and pray for him? Sarah Westwood reports at the Washington Examiner that the U.S. media is "crushed" that he would meet with Kim.

Austin Ruse reports at Breitbart that the meeting was initiated by the Pope, not Davis.

Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein report for the Washington Post that the meeting took place in Washington at the Vatican Embassy.
“I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me,” Ms. Davis said Wednesday in an interview with ABC News. ‘Thank you for your courage.’”

“I had tears coming out of my eyes,” she said. “I’m just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.”

The Pope also met with the Little Sisters of the Poor, which was forced by provide abortifascients to their employees.

(Courtesy of The Little Sisters of the Poor)

Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Abby Ohlheiser report for the Washington Post,
The Little Sisters of the Poor, which operates homes for the elderly in cities across the country, has been in a battle with the Obama administration over the law’s requirement that they allow their insurers to offer free contraception coverage to employees. The Becket Fund senior counsel Mark Rienzi, lead attorney for the Little Sisters, who spoke with one of the nuns after the meeting, said the pope was at their home for about 15 minutes and shook hands and spoke with each one of them in their chapel.

"I'm so insignificant"

Photos from BBC

A male in his twenties walked into a classroom at an Oregon Community College, shot the teacher in the head, ordered all students to get down on the floor, then asked each student to stand and tell him their religion. 13 people were murdered and 20 more injured. The gunman was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.

James King from Vocativ reports on the college's gun policy:
“Possession, use, or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols, and paint guns) ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any other objects as weapons on college property, except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations, is prohibited,” according to the college’s code of conduct. Additionally, the college bans knives with blades longer than four inches and misuse of defensive weapons like pepper spray or stun guns.

The White House has called for even stricter gun control laws!

Michael Sullivan writes for CBS Seattle,
Joe Olson, former president of the college, told The Associated Press the school has only one security officer on duty at a time, and that person isn’t armed.

Dana Ford reports at CNN,
According to the source close to the investigation, authorities are looking at social media posts between a person they believe may have been the shooter, and others.

The conversation happened Wednesday night on 4chan.

In it, the writer talks about planning to carry out a shooting. Others egg him on, giving him suggestions on how to do it, and the type of weapons to use.

The responses are mixed -- with some users characterizing the would-be gunman as a pathetic loser. Others called him a twisted hero.

In the posts, there is a reference to the UC Santa Barbara shooter, who wrote a manifesto and videoed himself before opening fire a year ago.

"This is the only time I'll ever be in the news. I'm so insignificant," reads an apparent post by the would-be Oregon gunman.

Influence of the donor class on the candidates

How much influence are donors having on the presidential candidates? What do they want? One thing they want is easier access to H1B visas that will allow them to hire foreign workers who do the same work as American workers for less pay. On June 1, 2015 Alex Swoyer wrote at Breitbart that
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, is the first 2016 GOP presidential candidate to come out against tech companies’ abuse of the H1B guest worker program to replace American workers with cheap foreign labor.

...Huckabee then hammered away at the recent examples from Disney and Southern California Edison, among others, where American workers were forced to train their replacements—replacements who were brought into America on H1B visas and paid significantly less than the Americans they were replacing to do the exact same jobs.

...But when companies are undercutting an American worker just so they can increase their profits without regard to the people who made them profitable in the first place, that’s not a money issue. That’s a moral issue.

Swoyer quotes Senator Jeff Sessions, who said,
Most of the H-1B program is now being used to import cheaper foreign guestworkers, replacing American workers, and undercutting their wages.’ The U.S. is graduating twice as many STEM students each year as find jobs in those fields, yet the H-1B program continues to provide IT companies with a large annual supply of lower-wage guest workers to hire in place of more qualified Americans. There is no ‘shortage’ of talented Americans, only a shortage of officials willing to protect them.

In written congressional testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jay Palmer—who served as a whistleblower in the Infosys visa fraud case that resulted in the largest settlement in history at $34 million—wrote that he is now an “out of work American” because his whistleblowing caused him to be “blackballed in the industry.”

“Over the past month I have spoken to many Edison workers,” Palmer wrote in his testimony after thanking Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Iowa’s Senior GOP senator, for investigating this matter. “Their stories are atrocious. They have been threatened, muzzled and asked to train less qualified individuals as their replacements. These people are the back bone of our economy. We are their voice. We are the only one they have left because they were FORCED to sign non-disparaging remark clauses in order to get their benefits. They have been muzzled.”

...Palmer’s full congressional testimony—at least the written out pre-hearing statement—totals 17 pages in which he calls out the immigration system as nothing more than a tool used by these donor class-political class figures to replace Americans with cheaper foreigners, laying out the full facts of what’s really going on. Palmer detailed too how several other companies engaged in the same practice as Southern California Edison, including his own Infosys—which he said still does it—and it’s since been exposed that Disney did it too.

...“The leadership in both parties has essentially sold out to the donor class, and that’s what we have to just be honest about,” Huckabee said. “The donor class drives the political class and the people in the Washington to Wall Street axis of power have been very, very effective at creating at a collusion of power that really doesn’t change when the Democrats or Republicans are in power.”

Huckabee said that explains why people like Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell
and House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) are trying to push Obamatrade—the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal—through Congress to help President Obama.

“How else can you explain the Republican leadership fighting to give Barack Obama increased power over a secretive agreement?” Huckabee said.
Read more here.

What has happened since June 1? Trump has captured the votes of those who want a candidate independent from the donors. Huckabee has gone nowhere. Santorum, who agrees with Huckabee on this issue, has gone nowhere. Neither is getting big bucks from the donor class.

Marco Rubio seems to be the one who speaks out most favorably for the H1B visas, and he seems to be beating out the other main candidate of the donor class, Jeb Bush. Both Bush and Rubio have received big bucks from the donor class.

Yesterday I posted excerpts from an Andrew McCarthy piece about the astonishing profits of the Boeing Company, who stands to gain billions of dollars from the Iran deal:
For the 2014 campaign cycle, according to, the company gave about 60 percent of its whopping $3,250,000 in donations to the GOP. Major recipients included such establishment pillars as the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee ($38,000 each), and the National Republican Senatorial Committee ($33,000). Significant contributions were also made to McConnell ($13,000), Boehner ($25,000), Senator Lindsey Graham ($39,000), and many others. And that’s apart from the nearly $17 million the company spent in 2014 on lobbyists, 80 percent of whom have transitioned to the other end of the trough after careers in government.

It just so happens that Boeing stands to reap huge money from Obama’s lifting of the sanctions.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


At The American Spectator Arnold Steinberg writes a long satirical piece imagining President Donald Trump's first news conference. The conference ends with this exchange:
Reporter: Now, about the future. You did not have a vice presidential running mate…

Trump: Because, obviously, I’m irreplaceable. The Democrats ran a candidate for vice president because they didn’t have confidence in their nominee.

Reporter: But what if something happens to you now?

Trump: Ask Melania. I am in better shape than anyone in Seal Team Six. And we’re not treating Navy Seal veterans properly. They sit for days in the same chair in the waiting room for an appointment with a doctor who doesn’t speak English. They want the American dream – to live in a Trump Tower and use the high-tech gym.

Reporter: And what do you want for your legacy?

Trump: I am rich, very rich. And smart, very smart. And a really nice person. People don’t realize that. But I want to be remembered for making America great again. I have written a will that clearly says to whom I am leaving the presidency.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.
Read more here.

He's not a fan of the European Union

The sin of despair

At according to Hoyt Sarah Hoyt reprises a 2012 post on the sin of despair.
Despair is a sin because it eats you, from the inside out. Despair comes with “I will never” and “what is the use” and “the game is rigged, so why bother?” Despair comes with beating your head against a glass window that shouldn’t be there, and yet is.

...It is a sin against your future self. It is a sin against humanity. It is a sin against possibility.

...But wait, there’s more. There’s what despair serves to do. People who despair don’t try to change things and/or undermine the establishment. People who despair, at the very least go away and shut up, even if they don’t deliberately kill themselves.

...Most of humanity are sheep. Some of us are goats. The problem of any establishment, any power, anyone who abrogates influence over human hearts and minds is to control the goats and to make the sheep do more than stand in place and bah. The more brutally repressive regimes eliminate the goats, often physically, and leave only the sheep. The result is all the innovation and elan of… North Korea.

...Refuse to write despair. Refuse to believe despair. Look doom and gloom in the eye and ask them “you and what army?” Yes, it might all come to the same in the end, but at least you’ll have fought and died like a human being and not a bah lamb.

...Tell the Grocers of Despair you have better things to do. There is a fight going on, and you’d rather fight. And then go on and discover new pastures. The poor sheep need somewhere to graze on. And you’ll have more freedom to breathe. And everyone wins in the end.

... If they sell you despair it’s because they’re afraid of what you can do if you don’t give up. Don’t give up. Nothing will piss the establishment more than your continued – and cheerful – battling on. Do it. Let THEM despair.
Read more here.


Jeffrey Anderson writes in The Weekly Standard,
Donald Trump’s newly released tax plan would add a staggering $10 trillion to the national debt over a decade, according to scoring by the Tax Foundation, a well-respected (especially in conservative circles) nonpartisan source. To put that into perspective, that’s more debt than Barack Obama—by far the most profligate president in American history—has managed to rack up so far on his watch (although he’s not done yet). According to the Treasury Department, the national debt has risen an unconscionable $9 trillion under Obama, from $9.2 trillion when he took office to $18.2 trillion today. But all by itself, Trump’s tax plan would generate more debt than 80 months of Obama.

In addition to being an incredible budget-buster, Trump’s plan raises one other major concern: It would, Trump claims, take most Americans off the income-tax rolls. It’s bad enough that about 40 percent of Americans currently pay no federal income taxes—and thus don’t help fund national defense, national parks, federal highway spending, the general cost of government, etc. Trump’s plan would turn that large minority into a majority. It’s hard to imagine how having most Americans not have skin in the game is conducive to cultivating a virtuous republican citizenry that prides itself on its self-reliance and doesn’t view government spending as a free lunch.
Read more here.

As I understand it, candidate Ben Carson is advocating that every American should have skin in the game and pay some taxes. Carson is right.

Planned Parenthood's deceptive claims

Bre Payton reports at The Federalist,
Hundreds of women called their local Planned Parenthood clinics Monday to schedule a mammogram, but none were able to successfully secure an appointment. That’s because the nation’s largest abortion provider doesn’t actually offer them.

The phone calls were part of “Schedule Your Mammogram Day,” an event organized by And Then There Were None, a pro-life organization, to raise awareness of Planned Parenthood’s deceptive claims on women’s health.

...But in reality, there are 8,735 licensed mammography facilities in the United States, and Planned Parenthood operates none of them. The closest that the nation’s largest abortion provider gets to offering mammogram services is referring women to one of those other facilities.

...While Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer any mammograms, it performs more than 300,000 abortions each year and harvests the organs of aborted babies for sale. This practice is driving the debate surrounding whether to continue sending federal funds to Planned Parenthood to the tune of some $500 million each year.

Since pregnancy is not a disease, this disagreement isn’t really about women’s health, after all. It’s really about whether the government will continue to funnel tax dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider, whose officials have been caught on tape admitting that they are able and willing to alter abortion procedures to get more organs out of the babies without properly gaining consent from women.
Read more here.

Me thinks she doth protest too loudly

Betsy Newmark writes at Betsy's Page,
The Washington Post has an excerpt from Reggie Love's book, Power Forward, about his time as Obama's "body man." They use the excerpt to pinpoint the moment back in 2007 when Obama knew he'd defeat Hillary because she lost her cool with him. But they seem to be burying the real lede of that excerpt. She was apologizing to him for her co-chair's talking about Obama's use of drugs as he talked about in his memoir.

“I want to apologize for the whole Shaheen thing,” Clinton said. “I want you to know I had nothing to do with it.”

The candidate very respectfully told her the apology was kind, but largely meaningless, given the emails it was rumored her camp had been sending out labeling him as a Muslim. Before he could finish his sentence, she exploded on Obama. In a matter of seconds, she went from composed to furious. It had not been Obama’s intention to upset her, but he wasn’t going to play the fool either. To all of us watching the spat unfold, it was an obvious turning point in our campaign, and we knew it. Clinton was no less competitive or committed to a cause than Obama, and the electric tension running through both candidates and their respective staffs reflected the understanding that she was no longer the de facto Democratic candidate. Her inevitability had been questioned. . . .

I remember Obama telling me later that day that he knew he was going to win the nomination after that moment on the tarmac, because Clinton had unraveled, and he was still standing and keeping his cool. It was just the confidence boost he needed.

Hello? Didn't the Washington Post notice that he was accusing her campaign of sending out emails calling him a Muslim? Put that together with her passive aggressive way of saying that she took Obama "at his word that he's not a Muslim" at least as far as she knew. It's clear that her campaign didn't mind of letting the suspicious that he was a Muslim just hang out there. Now she's very sanctimonious about the guy who said Obama is a Muslim and wasn't corrected by Donald Trump.

Show up, sit down, and type (or paint)

Seth Godin writes,

Abbey Ryan has painted a new painting every day for 8 years.

Isaac Asimov published 400 books, by typing every day.

This is post #6000 on this blog.

Writer's block is a myth, a recent invention, a cultural malady.

More important than the output, though, is the act itself. The act of doing it every day. When you commit to a practice, you will certainly have days when you don't feel like it, when you believe it's not your best work, when the muse deserts you. But, when you keep your commitment, the muse returns. When you keep your commitment, the work happens.

It doesn't matter if anyone reads it, buys it, sponsors it or shares it. It matters that you show up.

Show up, sit down and type. (Or paint).

Who profits from the Iran deal?

Andrew McCarthy wrote this piece at National Review a couple of weeks ago:
‘Why on earth would Republicans do that?” That is a question I’ve been asked at least a dozen times since illustrating that the GOP has played a cynical game in connection with President Obama’s Iran deal.

“Follow the money” is a common answer to questions about political motivation. It may not explain everything in this case, but it is certainly relevant.

This spring, Republican leadership colluded with the White House and congressional Democrats to enact a law — the Corker-Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act — that guaranteed Obama would be authorized to lift sanctions against Iran (the main objective of the terrorist regime in Tehran). The rigged law authorized Obama to lift sanctions as long as Republicans could not pass a resolution of disapproval. As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, and other GOP leaders well knew, there was no way they would ever be able to enact a disapproval resolution over Obama’s veto. But the process choreographed by Corker-Cardin meant they would be able to complain about the deal and vote to disapprove it — thereby creating the impression that they were staunchly against the lifting of sanctions that they had already authorized.

Often in Washington, the numbers that matter are measured in dollars, not votes.

Take Boeing, for example.

Based in Chicago, Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company, with revenues expected to surge past $96 billion this year. It is a major GOP donor. It gives mountains of money to Democrats, too, but the lion’s share of its political contributions go to Republicans.

For the 2014 campaign cycle, according to, the company gave about 60 percent of its whopping $3,250,000 in donations to the GOP. Major recipients included such establishment pillars as the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee ($38,000 each), and the National Republican Senatorial Committee ($33,000). Significant contributions were also made to McConnell ($13,000), Boehner ($25,000), Senator Lindsey Graham ($39,000), and many others. And that’s apart from the nearly $17 million the company spent in 2014 on lobbyists, 80 percent of whom have transitioned to the other end of the trough after careers in government.

It just so happens that Boeing stands to reap huge money from Obama’s lifting of the sanctions.

Iran’s airline industry has been crippled by these severe restrictions, which are aimed against commerce connected to the regime’s illegal uranium enrichment, terror promotion, and weapons trafficking. Once the sanctions are lifted, the mullahs are expected to order up at least 100 new aircraft in just the next year, and 400 over the next decade. That means tens of billions of dollars in sales for manufacturers positioned to satisfy those pressing needs.

No company is better positioned than Boeing. It not only has the models Iran wants and the production capacity to fill huge orders. Boeing also ingratiated itself with the mullahs last year by leaping into action when President Obama, eager to keep Iran at the negotiating table, granted some limited sanctions relief. Reuters reported that the company “sold aircraft manuals, drawings, charts and data to Iran Air.”

Interesting thing about that: Iran Air, the national carrier, is most notorious for providing material support to the barbaric Assad regime in Syria and the Hezbollah terrorist network that props it up.

As detailed earlier this week in an important report by Emanuele Ottolenghi and Ben Weinthal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (published by Politico’s European edition), the U.S. Treasury Department designated Iran Air as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction in 2011, ordering the freezing of its assets. Serving as an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (the force principally responsible for killing hundreds of American troops in Iraq and 19 American airmen in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia), Iran Air transported rockets and missiles, as well as military personnel and weapons, to Syria. It also violated a U.N. arms embargo by sending along dual-use materials that can be converted to military applications.

Oh . . . and given that Obama’s Iran deal depends on the terrorist regime’s good-faith cooperation with inspectors and compliance with restrictions on its nuclear work, it is probably worth mentioning how Iran Air managed to carry out its WMD proliferation: as Messrs. Ottolenghi and Weinthal explain, it systematically lied about the content of the cargo on its flights. Nevertheless, in the implementation of the Iran deal approved by Corker-Cardin, Obama will be dropping the designation against Iran Air.

To sum up: Obama cuts a deal with Iran. The implementation of the deal is abetted by legislation pushed by the Republican-controlled Congress despite massive opposition from the GOP base. Under the deal, a major GOP donor stands to make billions selling aircraft to Iran. Iran will use the aircraft to fortify the Assad regime (which Obama and GOP leadership claim to want to topple) and to promote terrorism by networks with a history of murdering Americans.
Read more here.